Milkman Brewing Company is the latest addition — and the first modern brewery — to join the Strip District's rapidly growing roster of libation makers. "There's a rich history of brewing in the Strip," says Justin Waters, one of Milkman's three brewer/owners. "We're excited to bring that back."
The brewery is located in a bare-bones space on the second floor of a Penn Avenue building owned by Nic DiCio of Reyna Foods. In the future, the structure could become a one-stop spot for all your drinking needs: The garage currently houses the Pittsburgh Party Peddler, a bicycle-powered mobile bar, and plans are in the works for a winery and distillery on other floors.
"In this business, location is everything," says Waters.
For the moment, the site is a prime spot to pick up beer while grocery shopping in the Strip. In addition to Friday-Sunday growler hours at the brewery, Milkman is available on tap at Independent Brewing Company, Harris Grill and Piper's Pub.
A signature hook of Milkman is its single-hop beer series. It will start each batch with the same malt mix (six-row and Munich) and then use a single hop variety for each step of the brewing process. Waters pledges to experiment with the aromas and flavors contributed by different hop varieties.
"We really want to focus on some of the hops that haven't gotten that much exposure," he says. "Even if it's just for one batch, we want to see if it's going to work."
Of course, a brewery isn't built on a single hop, and Milkman offers a variety of other brews. Dahntahn Brown is malty and a little bit toasty, while the mix of peppercorns in Peppercorn Rye provides a subtle backdrop to the full-bodied brew.
Indeed, Milkman's real signature might be how straightforward the operation is. "We want our beer to taste like beer," Waters says. "We're not trying to beat people over the head with flavor."